advent reflection ~ day 8

A voice cries out: In the desert prepare a place for the Lord! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God. ~Luke 3:4

Friendly+Grasshopper

“Friendly Grasshopper” Kristina Lishawa Photography

A few years back, I coordinated several ministry programs in a large Catholic church. Every Advent, an older parishner named “Norb” would dress up like John the Baptist. As 150 children gathered in a large hall, along with teachers and parents, Norb appeared in all his glory. With greying hair and rimmed glasses, Norb was dressed in a long fur coat with fringe. While carrying rubber grasshoppers and a jar of honey, he called out in a loud voice:

“Prepare the way of the Lord.”

The kids clapped and cheered for the man they called Grandpa Norb.

Last year, Grandpa Norb went home to be with the Lord.   At his funeral, I couldn’t help but smile. Like John the Baptist, he prepared “a place for the Lord” in the hearts of us all.

We are all called to proclaim the word of God, in our own special way, as Norb did. But if the thought of sharing the Gospel makes you fearful, don’t be dismayed. In the Kingdom of God, sometimes all you need is a fur coat, some rubber grasshoppers, and a room filled with kids.

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Nancy Jo Sullivan

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Nancy Jo Sullivan is an inspirational author and speaker. She has published with Random House, Guideposts, Readers Digest, and the Huffington Post. Her newest book, Small Mercies, was recently released by Loyola Press. In the book, she writes about God’s presence in motherhood, family, and love. Through poignant reflections, she recalls how she found God even in her darkest moments, especially in the months that followed the death of her daughter with Down’s syndrome. She reminds the reader that God is present in “every mess, burden, and blessing.” The mother of two grown daughters, Nancy Jo resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She loves hanging out with her daughters, teaching writing classes to kids with special needs, jogging, making spinach smoothies, and of course, writing about her imperfect life.

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